As marketing practices and tech evolve (in other words, always), digital lead generation remains essential to business growth. We know the old “best practices” are no longer “best,” or even “good enough.”
What’s an SMB to do? Start with this primer on the most current digital lead gen techniques.
1. Hyper-Personalization Through AI
You knew artificial intelligence would be part of this conversation, didn’t you? By analyzing vast amounts of data (practically in the blink of an eye), AI algorithms, properly configured and prompted, can create highly targeted lead-gen campaigns at scale. From personalized emails to tailored ad content, AI-driven targeting ensures messages resonate deeply with individual prospects.
Predictive analytics for lead scoring
Marketing automation platforms with predictive analytics capabilities enable you to score leads based on their behavior, interactions, and likelihood of conversion. HubSpot is especially great at this. When you know who your highest-quality leads are, you can commit necessary resources to those most likely to convert.
2. Interactive Content for Engagement
Interactive quizzes and assessments
Interactive quizzes or assessments that provide personalized results can accomplish several high-value marketing tasks. They capture the interest of your prospects and make web pages more “sticky.” They harvest valuable data in ways otherwise unavailable. With this data, you can better segment your contact list and follow up in a highly personalized manner — bettering your odds on converting them to customers.
Immersive visual experiences
This might feel like higher-level stuff for an SMB. But there’s no denying that that the technology is rapidly scaling to enable your use of immersive content systems like AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) to provide experiences that more closely connect prospects to your products “in action.” Think about the virtual tours that are becoming de rigeur in real estate — how might that concept apply to your business?
3. Conversational Marketing and Chatbots
A couple years before ChatGPT made the scene, HubSpot brought chatbots to the masses — and they’ve been continuously improving them. In 2024, AI-powered chatbots can have a place and function on your website and social platforms. What’s their value? Instantly responding to inquiries, qualifying leads, guiding prospects through the sales funnel by providing real-time assistance and information — and integrating seamlessly with human support as needed.
The content that resonates with your prospects is the content that speaks their language. That means conversational and relevant content that frames a more relatable experience. (Caveat: While AI algorithms keep getting better at this, you’re still the boss. Review and revise the content that AI gives you — because YOU will always know your brand better than the algorithm.
4. Video Marketing Strategies
Personalized video outreach
Once again, HubSpot makes it easy to deploy personalized video outreach emails. They definitely deliver their messages with a more human touch than a text email, enabling greater authenticity and creating openings for deeper connections with leads. Not to mention the proven fact that video is far-and-away THE preferred media consumption modality for pretty much any message! Speaking of which…
Short-form and interactive videos
If you’re not working TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Threads (and LinkedIn for B2B), it’s time to get started. Incorporate interactive elements like polls, clickable links, and CTAs within videos to drive immediate and desired actions. Not sure where to start? Check out what your competitors are doing.
5. Omni-Channel Marketing Approach
Integrated campaigns across channels
Just like you, your prospects “live” digitally in different places at different times. Integrated omni-channel marketing campaigns meet them where they are, delivering your messages where and when they’re most receptive to them. Strive for consistent messaging and branding across platforms so your campaigns appear unified, your messages are better retained, and your brand is better remembered.
If you’ve ever been served online ads for an item or service you’ve previously browsed, that’s retargeting. Retargeting uses data insights and tailored messaging based on previous interactions to re-engage potential leads who’ve shown initial interest.
6. Privacy-Centric Strategies
Ethical data collection and transparency
Consumer data privacy will always be a concern, and brands can only expect increased regulation over time. Within your lead-gen initiatives, always prioritize ethical data collection practices. Be transparent with your audiences about how your business uses their data and complies with regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
First-party data strategies
First-party data (or consented data) is information that comes directly from your customer base, subscribers, and site visitors. It’s gold for understanding their behavior and preferences — and crafting your most personalized and targeted lead generation strategies.
7. Content Hub and Knowledge Sharing
Content as a lead magnet
Distinctive, high-quality content positions your brand as an authority in its field, attracting and nurturing leads seeking information. Develop a content hub housing informational resources like whitepapers, guides, and webinars. Optimize your content for search. And promote, promote, promote.
Community building and engagement
Foster a community around shared interests or industry topics. A great way to do this is through involvement and engagement on social channels, forums, or special-interest communities to encourage discussions and build relationships. Start by seeking out topical conversations on social media using hashtag research and see where you can take it. But remember: You’re not there to sell, you’re there to advance the conversations.
There’s never been a single “magic bullet” for digital lead generation. Nor will all the practices you’ve just read about necessarily get equally desirable results. What you have here is a toolkit of concepts. Assess your needs, your audiences, and your available resources, then craft your lead-gen strategy and put it to work. Best of luck — and let me know what’s working for you.